Across the chessboard, their eyes meet.
His are green ringed with amber, sharp as knives.
Hers are so deep a brown they’re almost black, an endless void.
Victoria slides a pawn gracefully onto a black square. Her opponent’s white teeth glint. The game is begun.
The clock hands raced like horses and she watches his face for signs of weakness.
“What’s your goal here?” she asks. “Prove you’re clever than me? What does that get you?”
He says nothing and makes his move.
She watches the screen overhead: red and blue wires, ticking numerals, little clay-smooth lumps of explosive packed together. Ten faces stare at her, hoping for salvation.
“Nobody has to get hurt,” she says. “Just stop this.”
His green eyes flicker with fire.
“Play,” he hisses.
She plays. Calculations dance through her head, a graceful ballet of probabilities.
He’s good. His every play is masterful.
But Victoria’s better. She knows this as she knows that the Sun will rise.
His King topples, the round base rolling and rolling.
“Stop the countdown,” she says. “Now.”
He presses a button. The clocks stop.
“I just needed to know,” he says.
Word Count: 192
This is for Sunday Photo Fiction. Photo credit to A Mixed Bag.